A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Hate is such a strong word, isn’t it?  As Christians, we’re taught we should never hate anyone, yet that is the word that is used in this portion of Scripture to describe how non-Christians will feel toward Christians.  We’re told that this hatred is not because of us, but because of the One we serve.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?  That’s why we need to try not to take this hatred to heart – we need to remember that Jesus still loves us and we need to keep striving for the prize – because we have reason to rejoice in the end, for in the end we gain Heaven!  Remember, there is still a hell to shun and a Heaven to gain.  It’s not personal when we are hated – and we need to get tough skinned, wear blinders and keep being the people we’re supposed to be.

Even when the world seems to be against us, God is pleased!

Speaking for myself – it’s really one more reason why I have to stay in God’s Word and shun other things.  I have to stay in touch with what the Lord finds acceptable and pray that He will help me be the person I need to be.  You know, I saw a post online the other day, and it fits perfectly with this subject:  We’ve all had moments when we feel misunderstood and abandoned by others.  We have to remember what Jesus went through to secure our Salvation – that puts all of our rough patches in perspective, doesn’t it?  I’ve not been abused like He was!  God is good all the time, even when people are not good.  We are commanded to go into the world and preach the good news – so we plant seeds of hope everywhere we go!  That’s all we have to do – what happens after that is up to God!  That’s how I look at it.  I do my part and God takes care of the rest!  

So there you have it!  If we will trust God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to be our guide as we stay strong and endure in the faith, we will be saved and make Heaven our home one day!  God’s never going to steer us wrong.  🙂

 

 

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

This is a verse that is familiar to Sunday School teachers because at some point we work with kids to memorize it.  Some say this verse disproves the concept of the Trinity, but I don’t think it does.  I still believe in the three in one – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Paul is addressing the question whether there’s more than one God because a pagan said there was.  On behalf of Christians everywhere, he’s affirming that there is only one God, creator and ruler over the wide universe!  The fact that he didn’t go on to say anything about the Trinity does not mean it doesn’t exist.

Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?  – Charles Spurgeon

When we praise the Lord, it’s the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.  – John Piper

As we trust more in the faithfulness of God, we are better able to open our hearts to others.  It’s amazing how much joy fills our lives as we put all our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s my hope and prayer that we all will believe in the blessed Trinity and lean fully on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.  Remember – the more we praise the LORD in His presence, the more of His power we will see in our circumstances.  He inhabits our praise and answers all our prayers.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Just as the Bible instructs children to honor their parents and be obedient, it also has an outline for parents – particularly fathers in this case.  Think of the attributes of our Heavenly Father…  He is slow to anger, as earthly fathers should be.  He does not use severities in dealing with us – again, earthly fathers would be wise to take note of that.

Earthly fathers should do their best to work upon their child’s reason.  The old adage “because I said so” is an example of what not to say.  Children need answers to the fundamental question – why?   It’s always best to use reason so they understand where you’re coming from.

While there’s nothing wrong with setting limits and making it clear where the line is, anything less that proper and compassionate correction is wrong.  Make sure they learn about God and His love as well as His ways.  Pray for your children – and pray with them.  Show them that you practice what you preach.  Prayer in the household should be as natural as breathing.  God can change the heart, yet He gives His blessing to the good lessons and examples of parents, and answers their prayers.

Fathers who want their children to be rich and accomplished, whatever becomes of their souls, must not look for the blessing of God.  That’s not to say a child can not be successful in life – but it is to say the main interest in training up a child should be their spiritual condition.  God will lead for all those other things.  Seek Him first…  then all other things will be added.

God entrusts fathers with precious little ones.  When dads introduce their kids to the Heavenly Father, it makes God smile!  Remember – when we get to Heaven, God’s not going to ask you about how much money you made or how much cool stuff you had while on earth.  He does care about how you raise your children.  It’s important to show them Jesus.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (3)

I believe the book of James is probably the most difficult book in the Bible to read – not because the words are difficult to pronounce, and there are not any weird names to learn.  It’s difficult because it hits us right in the heart and mind.  The words are so clear – there is no room for misinterpretation, is there?  We get warm fuzzies when we read the book of Psalms, and we feel accomplished after we read through all the begets in some books – but James.  I read it and all I can say is…  OUCH!

The good news is, Jesus paid the price for all our sins long ago, and when I break God’s law (even the stuff found in the book of James), I have the privilege to ask almighty God through His Son, Jesus, to forgive me for my sins.  But I’m nobody special because the same opportunity is available to all who have accepted Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

A LEAF IS A LEAF IS A LEAF (from Week 27 of “Coffee with Jesus”)

From a small bud

Grows a leaf.

It could be big.

It could be small.

It could be red, green or yellow.

But no matter what color,

Shape, or size it may be,

It is called a leaf.

 

It is the same with sin.

Whether it’s my sin,

Your sin,

Or the sin of a brother,

It is called sin.

We shouldn’t look at another

And think our sin isn’t as big;

Our sin is still our sin.

It is our wrong.  It is our debt.

It is our sin.

There is no sin too small

That doesn’t need confessed.

And there is no sin too big

That God can’t wash away.

 

Author Lucinda Berry Hill

www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com

There is not a sin worse than any other sin, although as humans we are tempted to say that one is worse than another.  The Ten Commandments are all equal and they all apply to us.  It’s easy to think of one as more or less significant, but in God’s eyes, they are really all the same.  And here’s a newsflash…  it’s not my job to keep track of your sins.  I know that may come as a shock – but nope…  really, I have enough on my plate just keeping up with my own transgressions.

When I offer to share my faith, it’s not because I think I’ve somehow “arrived” and you need to catch up with me (oh pleeeeeze)…  not even close.  I just want everyone to know Christ as their personal Savior and make heaven their home one day – that’s all.

Dear Lord, I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. You did what I could not do for myself, and in humility I accept Your gift of grace. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

As we’ve discussed in the past, nothing in this world is going to fill that place in your heart except the love of Christ – that hunger in your heart, or HEART HUNGER can only be filled by Him.

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.  For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.”  If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a law-breaker.

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment!  – James 2:8–13

Today’s reminder is for all of us to show more MERCY and less JUDGMENT.  I need it, you need it, and I know with God’s help through Christ Jesus, we can do this.  When we show mercy to others, God is pleased and we sparkle and shine for Him!  🙂

GALATIANS 5:22-23 ON 5/22 & 23

TL 5-22 & 23 GALATIANS 5-22 & 23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22 & 23

Who IS the Spirit…  the Holy Spirit of God is part of the Holy Trinity.  God is One, yet Three – and no, I don’t know how to explain it – but He is God, so He can be anyone!  There is God the Father, God the Son (in flesh, Christ Jesus), and God the Spirit.  When God the Son ascended into Heaven, He did not leave us completely alone to figure this life out for ourselves – He left us God the Holy Spirit.  We know Him as the Comforter.  As we study God’s Word, we learn that God’s Spirit brings us everything we need to navigate this crazy life.  In this world that is increasingly filled with hate, we have God’s love; in a world filled with despair, we have God’s joy; in a world of wars and rumors of war, we have a deep settled peace that the world will never understand.  God’s Spirit helps us muster up patience when most people in the world want to be anything but… and how mean can people get?  God’s Spirit helps us be kind, good, faithful, gentle and exercise self-control.AN ADDED GIFT

Why would anyone not want that supernatural help???  Does this mean we’re perfect and will never mess up?  Well, sadly – no.  I’m never going to be perfect.  There are circumstances in this world that make me downright angry, but that’s when I have to remember that everything works for good and God has everything under control.  The enemy of my soul knows how to push buttons that make my temper flare, but that’s when I have to re-focus on Jesus and remember His sacrifice so that I can live – and I want to live with the attributes or fruits of His Spirit.

Aren’t we thankful that our Savior did not leave us alone?  I sure am!  Speaking for myself, I need all the HELP I can get…  and God’s Holy Spirit gives me all the HELP I’ll ever need.  He’s so perfect and righteous and Holy.  He makes my life so much better and I need Him every minute of every day.  It doesn’t make me weak – it makes me smart.  🙂

 

 

 

BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEK

TL FEBRUARY 21-27 BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEKFor better or for worse, image matters in all things!  The image we see with our eyes translates to developing an opinion in our brain – we like, we dislike – and that translates into the decision to either want to buy a product based on looks, or not.

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Happy Birthday in heaven, dad!2-21 BUILDING BLOCKS OF DESTINY

I was thinking about all the lessons he taught me – and the importance of appearance is one of the most crucial lessons I learned.  After I graduated high school in 1979, my dad set me up with a job “staging” homes to sell.  Daddy was a talented trim carpenter in Wichita and worked for several popular builders in our area in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Anyone with a house built in that time period probably has cabinetry that was handmade by my dad.  Ironically – the house I currently live in has pre-fabricated cabinetry and is in no way special.  😦

I’ve heard so many women make comments as they tour a staged house – they say something like, “Oh I wish my house looked this nice and clean.”  I have to laugh when I hear it because once a family moves into the house – the level of perfection automatically lowers!  If you have to live in a house, you’re not going to keep the plastic on the carpet – you’re not going to leave all the staged silk flowers where they’ve been placed because think about it – the stuff you need to store or have on hand set there instead!  A staged house is not occupied, so it’s lacking life and vitality!  I’d rather see a house that looks like it’s lived in, wouldn’t you?

Working with amazing designers and staging experts, I learned how color and texture and in some cases even the smell of freshly baked bread make impressions on people interested in purchasing a house.  One of the realtors actually brought dough with her to bake in the oven!  Triggers are different for everyone.  Some folks are turned on by sound, so we always tried to have soft music playing.  It was so soft that you barely noticed it – but it was there.  And remember, back in the late 1970’s, the big thing was intercom systems!  We liked the idea that we could push a button in the room we’re in to talk with the rest of the family instead of yelling across the house.  Those intercom systems also played music throughout the house.  I’d be curious to know if they still work today.  New construction does not offer intercom systems.  That was definitely a late 70’s, early 80’s thing.

Appealing to the senses is what marketing is all about.  Trip the trigger – make the sale.  Cha-ching! 

Sometimes I wish I had pursued that line of work because I’ve always been drawn to design, staging, and making a living space “speak” to people.  It’s important to do the same kind of “speaking” at trade shows.  Even a little touch like having a bowl of free candy available can help draw them to your booth.  The rest is up to you.  Sell your product.  Let them know why their life will be lacking without it.

Just as my dad added special extras to every set of cabinets he made, I try to add extra to my design projects or photographs so the eye is drawn to whatever I want to be noticed.  Image improvement can apply to all areas of life – personal and professional.

What can you do to build a better trade show image???  It depends on what type of product you’re selling, of course.  There are creative ways to draw a crowd and then wow them.  Don’t be afraid to try new things because when it comes down to it, it’s all about trial and error.  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  It might work!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL 2-16 A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEARTYOU'RE THE SPRINKLES ON MY LIFEWho are the sprinkles in your life?  Who adds that special something to your everyday life?  Husbands, wives, children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren for some.  Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins.  What about friends?  If you have a best friend, you are especially blessed!

Are you a sprinkle to anyone?  God sprinkles you with His love and you sprinkle family and friends.  Have you ever thought of it that way before?  Don’t you love how God works???

At a potluck dinner in the fellowship center one Sunday morning after service, my pastor and I were standing in line looking at the desserts.  There was a very happy plate filled with cupcakes – topped with icing and sprinkles.  He laughed and said, “I like SPRINKLES – but not BB’S.”   I knew exactly what he was talking about.  If those cupcakes had been decorated with BB’s, forget it – I wouldn’t have taken one! 

1467492_771456416204141_1783276352_nJust as there are many kinds of toppings or decorations for cupcakes, there are many types of people in the world – and it made me ask myself – “What type of person am I with others?”  Am I a yummy sprinkle, or am I at times a tough little BB???  I so want to be a sprinkle!  I prayed that God make me a sprinkle.  What a prayer to pray, huh?

God allows so many opportunities every day for us to sprinkle, sparkle and shine!  As we receive His character traits, we share those traits with those in our realm of influence – or we should.  While we will never be perfect, with God’s help, we can be better than we were before we knew the Father.

Please Heavenly Father,

Help me to be a sprinkle to those around me.  Even when I’m having less than a good day, may I always remember to be soft, gentle, kind and loving regardless of my personal issues.  Keep all jealousy, envy, hate and negative, unproductive emotions at bay as I forge ahead to be Your child.  I truly am too blessed to be stressed, and I thank You for everything good in my life.  May I never take it for granted and may I never be unwilling to share.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

BB’s (fake friends, haters, negative people) are challenges that are bound to appear once in a while.  We have a choice at that point to be a BB or a sprinkle in return.  I sure hope God helps me to be a sprinkle.  🙂